“Street Outlaws” has been one of the most viewed reality television series on the Discovery Channel since it premiered in 2013. It featured the top drivers and fastest cars in the world of street racing, with Justin “Big Chief” Shearer at the helm. The 405 crew was on center stage as they battle it out for the No.1 spot on the famous “List.” The show’s success made superstars out of the cast as they became known to racing and car enthusiasts in the US and across the globe. As such, many believed that they were making serious dough from filming the series, and this led people to wonder who amongst them is the richest.
- 1 About “Street Outlaws”
- 2 The Richest on “Street Outlaws”
About “Street Outlaws”
With Oklahoma City (OKC) as the street racing hub in the US. and the Cash Days videos becoming a trending topic on the internet, Pilgrim Studios from Hollywood contacted the guys from Midwest Street Cars through their website, wanting to do a reality show. After a screen test in June 2012, Discovery gave the green light, and “Street Outlaws” aired its first season in 2013.
Can the Zamborghini really beat a Ferrari in a drag race⁉️
— Street Outlaws (@StreetOutlaws) January 19, 2022
Due to the warm reception from its target audience, the show was renewed for another season and another one, and then before they knew it, they were onto their 17th season in 2021.
The 405 crew was a competitive lot, and they all wanted to get into the Top Ten List of the fastest cars and drivers in OKC with the ultimate goal of reaching the top spot. A car could run only as fast as the specs and features one put into it, so they upgraded their cars to increase their power and performance, to make them unbeatable on the street. They would put a call out to drivers in various cities, to come and prove that they were the fastest in the country.
The hit reality series spawned many spin-off series, including “Street Outlaws: No Prep Kings” and “Street Outlaws: Fastest in America.”
The Richest on “Street Outlaws”
Being on the show for many years made people curious about how rich its cast members have become; reportedly, each one received $20,000 to $30,000 for their participation in the series.
If they win on racing events such as Cash Days, Grudge Matches, and No Prep Racing, they get to take home the prize money of $2,500 up to $200,000, plus there was money to be had from winning side bets. However, win or lose, racing cars cost a lot of money, as one had to upgrade the car to keep it in top shape and competitive on the street. After each race, changes were made to improve performance for the next race, all expenditure coming from their own pockets.
Unlike other professional car racers, it was said that they didn’t have sponsors, as street racing is supposedly an illegal form of auto racing, although they revealed to the public that the races were conducted in a controlled environment with safety protocols in place. On their social media pages, the street racers talked about their cars and what they used on them, promoting brands in the process. Celebrities generally received payment or x-deals for doing this. Here are the elite drivers from OKC and their net worth as of January 2022 according to authoritative sources:
Monza – $500,000
Jerry Johnston has been racing since he got his driver’s license sometime in the 1980’s. He used to street race with a Chevy Monza, so when a drunk Murder Nova couldn’t remember his name, he called Jerry “Monza”, and the name stuck. With his 1972 Camaro Rally Sport, better known as the Sinister Split Bumper, he won races and even topped the OKC List. His race car was packing a 598-cubic inch Big-Block Chevy motor and PTC Powerglide Transmission with 2 Monte Smith Custom-Flowed Nitrous Foggers. Monza and his son Brandon, worked on his car together. In 2018, he crashed his car in a race against Chuck Seitsinger; he was unharmed but his car sustained damages, and its repair cost him $50,000.
At the beginning of the 17th season, they’d got rid of the List to shake things up, and Monza ended at No.1 even if Ryan Martin crossed the finish line first at half a fender, as he went over the center line by half a tire. He lost to Ryan when they raced again.
When he’s not racing, he was in his five-acre ranch in Kansas either hunting or fishing. He started his YouTube Channel, Monza 405 Motorsports, in January 2021 as he opened up his life to the public, and shared videos of himself and his team working on his race car, as well as enjoying his hobbies during the off-season.
Dominator – $500,000
Joe “Dominator” Woods collected cars, and has come to regret those he’d sold in the past. His love for them was influenced by his dad who taught him that if he wanted to own a car, he should know how to fix it and increase its speed. He found the Midwest Street Cars website, and learned that they were having Cash Days – Dominator knew that he had to be there. The first time he participated in a street race, he became hooked, and has been racing since then. Soon, he found himself on OKC’s Top 10 List with his 1967 Dodge Dart, saying that to be No.1 and stay No.1, one had to have the financial capability to ensure that your car would be up for the challenge.
He credited Haltech’s cutting-edge engine management technology in helping him, especially at the beginning of his racing career.
Murder Nova – $500,000
Shawn “Murder Nova” Ellington was born in 1977, in Merced, California; his family moved to Sayre, Oklahoma in 1982. He learned about cars by helping in his father’s auto body shop that provided services of collision repairs and restoration of olde cars. After almost two decades of working there, he moved to the city and started a power line business. He chanced upon a drivers’ meeting one night, watched them race on the street, and it got him interested.
It was Big Chief who arranged his first race, and they soon became friends. They helped each other out in having the fastest cars on the street, and so winning races. Shawn was competitive, so being on the Top 10 List wasn’t surprising. By the time they started filming for the first season of the show, he was at No.1 with his 1969 Chevy Nova. His race car was called Murder Nova, with “Murder” as the shortened version of “murdered-out,” which meant a car that was given a full-black treatment.
He and Big Chief became business partners in Midwest Street Cars Automotive Shop, but things changed over the years, and they eventually found themselves with different priorities in life, so found it best to go their separate ways, and save their friendship.
Doc – $550,000
The Oklahoma native James “Doc” Love got into underground racing through Monza, who introduced him to the guys from Midwest Street Cars in 2008. He constantly upgraded his 1970 Chevy Monte Carlo that he bought from eBay in 2003, and was soon winning races. His car earned the nickname, The Street Beast, and that was even before his car was packing a 706-cubic inch Big-Block Chevy motor and Turbo 400 Ace Racing Transmission with 3-Monte Smith Nitrous Kits. Unfortunately, he crashed his car in 2020 while filming for the show, and suffered a serious concussion. He revealed that he had to sell some of his vehicles – including a Toter home, a Stacker trailer, and a 1981 WS Bandit Clone Trans Am – so he could build a new race car.
In June 2021, he unveiled his blue Firebird, which he called The Stunt Double, and through his Instagram post, thanked several of his sponsors who helped him.
His need for speed was what drove him to become a street racer, but only after his business was stable. He’s the owner and operator of a full-service garage called Southwest Diesel Service in Oklahoma, reported to have annual revenue of $700,000. However, in October 2021, Doc pleaded guilty to tampering with the emission-control systems on diesel trucks, which was in violation of the Clean Air Act. A sentencing hearing was set after 90 days, and he faces a possible $250,000 fine and up to two years imprisonment.
Chuck Seitsinger – $650,000
Chuck’s father was a drag racer and a mechanic, so he grew up around fast cars. He worked in the automotive field from when he was a young man, and in 1990 landed a job as a tech for a Honda dealership. He was an adrenaline junkie as he’s raced his whole life. Chuck started with dirt track motorcycle racing, then drag boat racing, and finally car racing. He was the 2004 and 2006 NOPI Pro 4 Cylinder Class champion.
Wanting to race on the street, he bought a 1989 Ford Fox Body Mustang from Murder Nova called the Death Trap, and gave it the necessary upgrade.
In August 2000, he opened an auto performance shop called Alternative Motorsports, that has eight service bays, an alignment machine, chassis dyno, and other equipment. He continued to work as a service writer in a Honda dealership, but had to give this up when he became busy racing cars and filming for the show. He sold merchandise online on the CSR (Chuck Seitsinger Racing) store.
Daddy Dave – $900,000
David “Daddy Dave” Comstock was one of the fastest among the 405 crew, and has rightfully earned the nickname, “King of the Streets.” His interest in racing was influenced by his father, who taught him to drive fast and to love cars and especially NASCAR. At the start of the “Street Outlaws” series, it was a construction mogul named Jackie Knox who funded his racing, droving a 1996 GMC Sonoma S10 pickup that had a 632-cubic inch Big-Block Chevy engine with 3-Stage Nitrous System.
They parted ways when he set out to drive his own car, a 1963 Chevy Nova nicknamed Goliath, starting in season six of the series. Unfortunately, he crashed his car during a No Prep event at the Amarillo Dragway in Texas. Then in July 2021, he crashed his new race car known as Goliath 2.0, at the South Georgia Motorsports Park in another No Prep race, due to a rookie mistake, but by October, he was back on the street.
He opened his own automotive repair shop called Comstock Auto Service, located in Edmond, Oklahoma. Aside from filming for the original and NPK series, he attended car festivals as well as meet-and-greet events in the US and abroad. Based on his Instagram posts, he’s sold racing merchandise including diecast collectibles of his Goliath. In June 2021, he opened his YouTube Channel, Daddy Dave Racing, and his videos have already amassed 1.4 million views.
Farmtruck ($2 million) and AZN ($1 million)
Jeff “AZN” Bonnett and Sean “Farmtruck” Whitley are the dynamic duo who provided much entertainment to the viewers; the two met in a street race and developed a friendship.
Farmtruck with his 1970 C-10 Chevy Pickup Truck was on the Top 10 List when the series started, but soon dropped off the List as he and AZN went their own way, as they had way more fun “fishing”; which meant that they lured unsuspecting people to race for money. The marks often underestimated his truck as it had rusty paint and dents, but beneath all that, it was packing a Custom-built 8-Cylinder Big-Block Engine and 2-Stage Nitrous Oxide – AZN would do the talking and Farmtruck would do the driving. The show would feature the two doing crazy and fun stuff that involved both racing and building one-of-a-kind vehicles. Discovery gave them their own show, “Street Outlaws: Farmtruck and AZN,” which premiered in August 2020.
Ryan Martin – $2 million
The 44-year-old racer was born in Ventura, California, but grew up in Oklahoma. He has always liked anything fast – his first car was an ’89 Mustang. Behind the wheel of his 2010 5th Gen Camaro SS, known as the Fireball Camaro, Ryan quickly rose to the top spot when he was given the chance to compete with the guys, after the Pro-Mods were removed from the List in season nine of the series.
He not only dominated the street but also the track, as he won the No Prep Kings Championship in 2019 and 2021. On his second win, he raced with his 2018 ZL1 Big-Tire Camaro that was purposely built for a no-prep track.
Ryan is the co-owner of an automotive shop called B&R Performance, offering aftermarket performance products as well as Fireball Performance Cars in which they customize stock vehicles from Ford, Chevy and GM. His shop also sold merchandise from apparel to diecast car collectibles, so when he’s not filming, he’s working at the shop. Aside from his race cars, he has another Camaro, and a 2017 GMC truck for everyday use.
Big Chief – $2 million
Justin “Big Chief” Shearer was born in Louisville, Kentucky in 1980; his family moved to Oklahoma in 1992. He used to watch the street races that were happening on the Old Route 66, and before long, he was racing against the best of them. By the time Pilgrim Studios contacted him via the website Midwest Street Cars that he set up for racers across the country to communicate, Big Chief was already the race master and race organizer of the 405 crew. When “Street Outlaws” was aired, he was the one who dealt and made peace with the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA), the governing body for drag racing, which at the time was against street racing, as it was illegal.
As a street racer, he drove a 1972 Pontiac LeMans, known as The Crow, and rose to the top of the List. The car was totaled when he crashed during a race against Brian Davis from Detroit in 2015, so he built a new one called The Crow Mod. However, after the Pro-Mods were kicked off the List, he drove a 1969 Pontiac LeMans, and called it The New Crow.
He and Murder Nova hosted the podcast, “The Chief and Shawn Show.” They established the Midwest Street Cars Automotive Shop that offered tuning and performance services, revealing in an interview that the business was only second to racing cars, as the main reason they opened the shop was for convenience. One of the disagreements he had with his business partner was that their gas bill was $2,000 a month, as he was working on his car 24/7, and it was a problem as the shop wasn’t making any money. It was said that he was the richest among the 405 crew, and it must have come from having higher pay for being the central figure in the series.
For the 405 crew, street racing has become more than just a hobby, as they made a living out of it. They spend a lot of money on their cars to make them race-worthy, but not all of them get to bring home the prize money; their passion for racing is what makes them stay. Filming for the TV series made them give up their regular jobs, as it took too much of their time but they get paid for it. Aside from that, appearing on the show made them popular, and it helped promote their businesses, if they have one.